A Sermon Manuscript by Robert L. Cobb
Editor, NewsForChristians Dot Com
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
"And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died."
"And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died."
"And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died".
"And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died."
"And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died."
Gen. 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20
Introduction: Have you ever walked through an old graveyard and examined the markers bearing the names of long dead people? The cemetery that holds my family members is a little more than a mile from my home and I visit there often. There are very few people buried there that are remembered by anyone other than family and neighbors. Most of them lived generations before me and are just names on a tombstone, listing their birth and dying days. It is such a shame that these people are not remembered for their accomplishments, for their service to mankind, for their love of family, or for their faith in God. They are seemingly just names in a graveyard. The names listed in our text are like those tombstones: Just a genealogy and how long they lived. It seems so sparse.
In The People's Bible, author and preacher Joseph Parker addresses this thought with these words:
It is hard to imagine any of these people scoring any points in the eyes of an Almighty God. Even in the above-mentioned Parker's time, the same things were true:
GOD TAKES SPECIAL INTEREST AND KNOWLEDGE OF ALL HIS PEOPLE.
Not only does God choose differently than the world, He plays no favorites. No one is more important to God than another. The most talented preacher or teacher is no more God's child than the illiterate homeless person. No billionaire businessman is more important to the cause of Christ than the jobless mother on welfare. No gifted genius carries more influence in Heaven than the special needs child who loves the Lord the best he can. in Colossians 3:11, Paul says, Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. And in Romans 2:11, For there is no respect of persons with God.
God chooses us and doesn't play favorites, but another great truth about our relationship with God is His great love for us. Every soul that dies in the Lord can close their eyes with the certainty that God loves them. Christians many times take His love for granted, but the love of our God for us should always be uppermost in our minds. I John 4:10 says, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And again, And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us... (Eph. 5:2)
IMPACT OF A CHRISTIAN'S LIFE IS MEASURED DIFFERENTLY BY GOD THAN MAN.
One of the great things about
God is that He knows our hearts and judges accordingly! To illustrate this
point, I think of Gideon in the Book of Judges. He was a young farmer
in an Israel that had been overrun by a foreign army, the Midianites. The
Midianites had terrorized the populace to the point that they had hidden
in the mountains to escape their cruelties. When the story opens,
Gideon is threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress, fearful of his
life and that of his family. There was surely nothing in the life
of Gideon that would make anyone think that he would become a great instrument
of God. But God used him to defeat one of the greatest armies on
the earth at that time. God knows and values His people! God
saw in Gideon what he could make of him, not just the fearful farmer he
Another consideration about the impact of a life must be the Christian's inner self. We see the outside of folks; we cannot see what's going on in the spirit of man. In Luke 8, there was a little woman that followed behind Jesus as He walked. There was a throng of people following after Jesus, no doubt jostling for His attention and the most prominent place beside Him. But the woman pressed through the crowd, no doubt irritating many, just to touch Jesus' garment as He walked. Such a small thing! Who was this woman? Why did she push her way through the crowd just for that split second? Most there probably didn't know her story and didn't care. But Jesus knew her and addressed her need. And she was healed that very moment!
There was a little widow woman living in Zarephath in 1 Kings 17. She had a young son and was ready to give up and die when the Prophet Elijah came along. She didn't know it, but God had already told Elijah that she would provide him with sustenance during the famine that was in the land at that time. The villagers of Zarephath probably didn't think much of her and her son. Not one of them offered any help. But God had told His Prophet, Arise, get thee to Zarephath...and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
III. YOU CAN BE
SURE THAT GOD HAS THE RECORD OF HIS SERVANTS' LABORS ON THIS EARTH.
The world will not record the deeds of God's people. But that's OK, because God is recording every deed, every kind word, every cup of cold water. Nothing goes unnoticed by God! Have you ever heard of Frank Wimproy? He was a Sunday School worker in a London church in 1912. He felt led to speak to one of the 13-year-olds in the class. He pressed him about his soul's salvation and the boy prayed and received Christ. That boy's name was Will. We know him as W.E. Sangster, the great English preacher who preached while German bombs dropped all around him.
I would like to tell you about another "nobody" who was a servant of the Lord. I wish I could tell you his name, but it is lost to the ages. As a sixteen year old boy, Charles Spurgeon was making his way to a congregational church for prayer meeting, his soul heavy with conviction. But it began to snow and in minutes he found himself in the midst of a full blown snowstorm. He quickly ducked into a small primitive Methodist church to escape the weather. As he settled he found there was only a few people there. A substitute lay preacher stood up and opened his Bible to Isaiah 45:22, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else. Not being well prepared, the speaker would say a few words and repeat his reading of the text over and over. It was just what the young Spurgeon needed to hear as his heart broke and he accepted the Lord. That lay preacher could not, in his wildest imagination, have known the impact that night would make on the latter day church. Spurgeon's messages are still being read over 120 years after his death!
MUCH MORE SHOULD THE LIVING SAINTS CONSIDER OUR LABORS FOR GOD?
What will they say at your funeral? The tomb rock that stands at the head of your grave will give only the slightest of information. But the truth will be revealed in the last time. May our works stand the fire in that day! And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12 )
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